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How and how not to develop IR theory: lessons from core and periphery

Buzan, Barry (2018) How and how not to develop IR theory: lessons from core and periphery. The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 11 (4). pp. 391-414. ISSN 1750-8916

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Identification Number: 10.1093/cjip/poy013


This paper starts from the fact that there is a substantial gap in terms of IR theory production, between the West and the rest. Its aim is to investigate how that gap might be closed, and for this purpose, the paper takes a broad view of what counts as theory. Its method is comparative history: to observe how IR theory has developed not just in the West, which is well-studied, but also in the periphery, which is not. The idea is to identify what material conditions and motivations in both locations were associated with the emergence of theoretical thinking about international relations, and how and why theoretical differentiations emerged, particularly within the West. It also looks at conditions and circumstances that seem to work against the successful production of IR theory. The paper concludes with a brief consideration of IR theory development in China on the basis of the lessons drawn from the history of IR theory development.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2019 Institute of International Relations, Tsinghua University
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 14:51
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:04

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